Summary: A sermon for the 17th Sunday after Pentecost Proper 21 Jesus talking aobut what kind of life a Christian needs to live
17th Sunday after Pentecost
"Are you Salt?"
38 John said to him, "Teacher, we saw a man casting out demons in your name, and we forbade him, because he was not following us."
39 But Jesus said, "Do not forbid him; for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon after to speak evil of me.
40 For he that is not against us is for us.
41 ¶ For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ, will by no means lose his reward.
42 "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung round his neck and he were thrown into the sea.
43 And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire.
45 And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame than with two feet to be thrown into hell.
47 And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell,
48 where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.
49 For every one will be salted with fire.
50 Salt is good; but if the salt has lost its saltness, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another."RSV
Grace and Peace to you from our Lord and Saviour, Jesus who is the Christ.
What kind of people does a church produce? Let me repeat that question, What kind of people does a church produce? That may sound like a strange question but in all reality that is the question which our gospel lesson asks in many different ways this morning. Does the church produce people who give a drink of cup of cold water to someone who is thirsty in Jesus’ name? Does the church produce people who lead others to sins? Does the church produce salt, pure and willing to preserve the goals and ideals of Jesus? Does the church produce people who practice what they preach? Does the church produce people of faith who are willing to put their faith into action in their own lives as well as the lives of others?
This lesson is asking us to look seriously at our conduct as members of the body of Christ, not only how we treat others, but also how we conduct our own individual lives in relationship to the teachings of Jesus and the commands of God as found in the 10 commandments.
To get a better understanding of what Jesus means in this text, I would like to look at four individuals,
"First a gal named Shirley. Shirley was a dedicated mother. Her children lacked nothing. If they were hungry, at the first sign of hunger, they were fed. If her children’s friend got a new toy, Shirley’s children got the same one.
They were the first at school when they got older to have their heir own car. They weren’t made to do anything, because once upon a time, Shirley’s father made her go to church. Shirley’s children don’t go to church, but they are good children, with good manners and good grades. They are good and bland--tasteless salt less. No faith, no belief in Christ. These children are good but selfish, looking out only for themselves.
Then there is Bill. Bill is retired now and as he says. He had it made. He worked hard all his life and as Bill says he is going to take it easy in retirement. Sit on the porch and rock in the rocker. Bill has been asked to do volunteer work for the Senior Citizen Center, but as he did with the people at the church, he told them to let the younger ones take their turn. He just wanted to rock and rock and rock. Bill lacks salt, too.
But Tom just the opposite of Bill. Tom is going to be somebody. He graduated early from high school. Got a good scholarship to college. He worked hard getting good grades. Now he is working hard for the company. They promised to make him rich and they are. But Tom lost something on the way up the corporate ladder, his wife and children. She left taking the children with her. He says she didn’t understand. But she says his job is an obsession. His children visit on every fourth weekend, for the afternoon. He really does love his job. Money is Tom’s way of keeping score concerning life. As far Tom is concerned, he is way ahead, running up a huge score. But Tom is salt less!!